A website conversion is when a visitor does something you want like subscribe to your newsletter, complete a lead generation form or buy a product. The percentage of total visitors that convert is called your conversion rate. You can spend thousands on SEO and Adwords but if your website doesn’t convert, who cares? A site with millions of visitors and a sucky conversion rate won’t pay your mortgage or fund your kids’ college educations.
In this world of information overload and short attention spans, you have two seconds for someone to decide whether they want to browse your website or simply leave. 96% of your visitors who come to your website are not ready to buy so your website must convince them with some of these super effective ways we have outlined below.
Strong Value Proposition
First and foremost, you must write a unique and clear headline outlining the benefits of your product or service which explains how you are better than your competition. Expand on what you have to offer with short jargon-free copy. Pair that with an eye-catching image that reinforces your messaging, ideally not stock photography. Include succinct and relevant bullet points with icons if necessary. Only after you have clearly communicated your value should you mention your price. Amazon with its millions of products, does a stellar job of this.
One Beneficial Call-to-Action
Your website should be about asking your visitors to take one specific action. If you offer people too many options, you get paralysis by analysis. The more choice you give, the easier it is to chose nothing. Give your target audience tunnel vision and only present one strong call-to-action along with some of these extremely effective tactics:
- Create a sense of urgency with an expiration date
- Describe the benefit of taking the action
- Pair it with authentic content and images
- Make it stand out with ample white space and a contrasting color
- Ensure that it is above the fold (visible without scrolling)
Shortest Form Possible
Shorten your form to the least amount of fields possible like name, email, phone and message. You can always ask for additional information when you contact the prospect. Every additional field reduces conversion by an astounding 11% so use your form fields sparingly and if you absolutely need additional fields, keep them optional.
Testimonials, Reviews, Social Proof & Case Studies
If you have a huge social media following, flaunt it! If you have a huge number of positive reviews on Yelp or some other reputable third party website, highlight and link to them! If you can get your customers to vouch for your products or services, showcase them because video reviews are more believable since they are more difficult to doctor. Case studies can also be effective in that they outline practical uses for a product or service to help demonstrate their value. Case studies are more than just testimonials or reviews – they speak to specific customer needs and pain points.
Some of the most difficult barriers to purchasing can be overcome with a free trial or no-questions-asked refund policy. Many large companies let people test their product or service without financial obligation or offering a price match guarantee to address objections and increase the chance of a sale at the end. Amazon is a great example of this as I’ve never had trouble getting a refund with them.
Positive & Balanced Headlines
According to CoSchedule, the best performing headlines have approximately 6-7 words and a balance of common, uncommon, emotional and power words. Headings that are overly positive (think sunshine and rainbows) sediment perform better than negative or neutral ones.
Authentic Video and Photography
Creating a video or imagery that demonstrates the benefits of your products or services humanizes your brand and shows the faces of your company. Authentic videos and images can increase conversion by 144%. Be to to avoid stock, use happy people and post employee photos and profiles.
Tell a Relatable Story
Research your audience and understand their different personas so you can tell a story that they can relate to. For example if you are speaking to college students, you might tell them an aspirational story to motivate them. Clearly communicate the problem that your product or service solves that resonates with your prospects. Start with a “come hither” or gripping visual paired with a bold headline to hook your customers. The best ads are usually a single image paired with an amazing headline like this.
Landing Pages for Pay-per-Click Ads (Not Your Homepage)
If you already have an optimized, mobile-friendly website, you may be wondering why you need landing pages for Adwords. Landing pages reiterate the specific problem and solution mentioned in the ad increasing leads and sales more than just your homepage which can be more generic. In addition, placing a short data capture form on your landing page and removing all extraneous links, you are more effectively cornering your audience into giving you their contact information. Here are more strategies on optimizing your landing pages for better conversion.
Compelling & Scannable Content
No one wants to read a sea of text so break up your content into digestible chunks by using subheadings, bulleted lists, images, videos and icons. Ditch the fancy complicated jargon and write as if you are speaking; if you would not use it in conversion, don’t use it at all.
Use Smart Content
Smart content, also known as as dynamic content, is website content that changes based on a visitor’s browsing history or interests. Smart content offers a more relevant and personalized experience by nurturing leads with predefined content based on their past behavior. For example, if someone has already downloaded your pricing datasheet or whitepaper, you might show them some customer case studies or benefits of your company. Marketo and Hubspot can help you with creating smart content campaigns if you are interested.
Cart Abandonment Email
A cart abandonment email is when someone adds something to their cart but leaves before completing their purchase which triggers an email to remind them that there’s something in their cart. According to Omnisend, 46.1% of people open cart abandonment emails, 13.3% click inside the email, and of those clicks, more than 35% end up buying something. In order to send these emails, the website had to have collected the customer’s email before they entered checkout. You can try sending a series of cart abandonment emails while they are still interested ideally within one hour, 12 hours and 24 hours. Throw in a promo code or free shipping to further boost conversion!
Scarcity can be quantity-related (limited quantities) or time-related (last day to purchase). When a product or service is limited or perceived to be less attainable, it becomes more valuable or desirable due to the fear or missing out (FOMO). Scarcity can be extremely powerful but don’t lie to your customers or you will lose their trust. If you have a product or service high in demand and low in supply, communicate the scarcity and don’t ever fake it. Booking.com does a great job of implementing the scarcity tactic in the example below:
- “Booked 2 times for your dates in the last 24 hours” – Hurry up and book before the rooms are all gone!
- “In high demand” – There are lots of people booking this hotel so you might not get a room if you wait!
- “You missed it!” – Oh damn! Better book the next deal or there might not be any rooms left!
- “There’s only 1 like it!” – This is a special room so you better book it before someone else swipes it up!
Free Shipping & Promo Codes
Maybe they’ve been on your site for a while or they got distracted with something else. Other ways that marketers increase sales is with free expedited shipping, discounts for immediate action, free updates and / or a free support period. According to Invesp, an astounding 44% don’t purchase because of high shipping costs. Since your product always has to be shipped somewhere, we recommend rolling the cost of a good, reliable shipping method into your product and then just claiming “free” shipping. This way, you also save on complicated web development by forgoing a shipping calculator.
One of the largest barriers to buying is account registration. Only ask the minimum information you need to deliver the product and make account registration optional by allowing guest checkout.
Simple Single-Page Checkout
The easier it is for someone to buy on your website, the more likely they will. Complex checkouts are the primary reason people abandon their shopping carts. One page checkouts appear shorter and motivate customers to purchase instead of skipping off to another tab. They have all the fields on the same page avoiding unnecessary complications, clicks and price comparisons. Single-page checkouts work particularly well if you sell inexpensive items or impulse purchases. Only include the fields absolutely necessary for checkout and leverage Google auto-fill to grab email, address and credit card information.
Provide Contact Information
People like being able to contact you and they often feel frustrated when there is no contact page. Include a physical office location and phone number increases trust and consequently sales.
Nurture them with Email Marketing
Regular email marketing keeps your company top-of-mind so that they when need does arise, people will call you first. Email marketing nudges prospects to take the next steps. Here are some great email marketing strategies to get you more sales.
Reduce Loading Time
If you regularly read our blog, you might have heard us say that every second longer than two seconds that your website takes to load reduces your conversion rate by 7%. Optimizing your images, using a CDN, custom coding your site instead of using a premade theme, using plugins sparingly, embedding videos and enabling caching are just some of the ways to quickly speed up your website.
Responsive Web Design
Responsive web design automatically adjusts the website design and content so that it works well across laptops, tablets and phones to ensure an optimal user experience. With mobile users having surpassed laptop users and Google penalizing mobile-unfriendly sites by burying them in mobile search results, responsive web design is absolutely critical for conversion.
Professional Web Design
We know that many small business owners are very price sensitive and will hire the cheapest web designer out there. Professional web design keeps customers coming back, reduces loading time, is optimized for SEO, makes a lasting first impression and increases traffic and of course also, conversion.
Helpful Blog Posts
Blogging about topics that your target market is Googling is not only good for SEO but also helps your conversion. Remember that your blog should be helpful and not salesy. If they like what they are reading, they will eventually buy from you.
Wrapping It All Up
Designing a high converting website can be overwhelming but it is highly rewarding and worth the time and investment. And when you understand your target audience wants and needs, you can make your website convert more very easily. Contact our San Francisco web design and development team to increase your conversion rate and grow your small business.